Pro and Con 658

Posted 12-19-00

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I'm proud to be an American! Especially after the speeches last night by two men of different ideas and persuasions, who both, individually, brought about respect for our country after a bitter battle for the presidency. I, for one, am not only glad it's over, but thankful that we live in a country where we could have this intense a battle with such an honorable conclusion.

Not that it's all over - because I believe we have many healings that need to come about. But we will prevail - we will be one nation, UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, with liberty and justice for all.... Sincerely
TRIBUTE TO THE UNITED STATES, from a Canadian newspaper
America: The Good Neighbor.

Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television Commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

"This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States. When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it. When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon - not once, but several times - and safely home again. You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke.

I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope "Canada is not one of those."

Stand proud, America! Wear it proudly!!

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Re: Imminency
Your discussion of the doctrine of imminency was excellent. I believe that this is a doctrine that people have come up with based upon the many exhortations that we have been given to "watch". They hammer on the scripture that says " No man knows the hour..." and these scriptures on watching to jump to the conclusion that Jesus could come for us at any moment. That attitude that Jesus could come at any time is something that God has allowed the church in every generation to believe. Why? Because He knew that the vast majority would not see the rapture themselves and He wanted them to live as if they would have. However those in any of those generations that had a revelation of what God has prophecied about "the latter days" would have known that the rapture couldn't have been imminent for them. But few had that revelation about the signs of the final generation (that you so many times have expounded upon), so they believed and taught that the rapture could come at any time. It was a part of God's plan that they didn't know the day and hour at that time. That's why Jesus spoke in parables and called many of these things concerning the bride a "mystery". Daniel 12 talks about a generation (when many run to and fro and knowledge increases) that the book of these endtime things written in Daniel would be unsealed. I know we are not only are in that generation, but like increasing birth pangs more revelation of the timing of these end time events are coming forth as we approach the time the rapture will truly be "imminent" or "at hand".

From God's perspective, there is no such thing as imminency. As you rightly said, there is an exact prepared time for the rapture to occur according to God's pre-ordained schedule. Do people really think that Jesus doesn't know when He will come and is waiting for Father God to elbow him and say, "OK, Jesus it's time". That's what a lot of people teach. But that is not what the Word says. It says in the gospels that not even Jesus knew the day and hour of His return. Notice it didn't say that He would never know. He didn't know because when He was on earth, he lived as the "son of man" and didn't use his power as God to be omniscient (all knowing). That's why it says that Jesus, "grew in wisdom and stature". However, once Jesus rose from the dead and preceded to sit on His throne at the right hand of the Father, He took upon Himself again His deity powers. He knows when He is going to come, because being omniscient, He knows everything.

Because scripture says that those Jesus was speaking to didn't know (present tense) the day and hour of His return . . . does not mean that He meant to preclude believers in the last generation from knowing that day and hour, as He revealed new prophetic insights from scripture and signs in earth and sky. Does that mean we know now the day and hour for sure? I don't think we know now. I think you have written about a couple of very good possibilities for days that the rapture of the bride could occur. I think you would agree with me that we still don't know for sure. So we are to live our lives as if He could come today. So in a sense, imminency, if we are going to use that definition of coming at any time, from our perspective has some validity. But at the same time, I do believe that there will be something that happens shortly before the rapture that will tell those that are truly watching, the day and hour that He will come for His bride. In the parable of the 5 foolish and 5 wise virgins, there was a shout or a warning, "Behold the bridegroom cometh" a short time before the bridegroom actually comes. When we hear that shout or see that sign (like maybe the date that the covenant is to be confirmed) that warns those that are "watching", we will know the date that the rapture is truly "imminent".

Before I end this post, I want to respectfully disagree with one thing you wrote in that letter about imminency. You said...

> The Lord's coming is near. Keep watching, as he instructed us > over and over. Mt. 24:42 says, "Watch therefore: for ye know not > what hour your Lord doth come." Notice that it doesn't mention the > day, month or year, just the unknown hour.

You intimated that because of the scripture you quoted (Mt. 24:42), that we can know the day and month, but not the hour. Yet earlier you quoted Revelation 3:3 to say that we will know the hour. For Mt. 24:42 to not contradict that scripture in Rev.3:3, it would seem that that exhortation would have to have been directed to the virgins that are not "watching" and are left to face the tribulation ...and NOT TO US. The two verses preceding verse 42 speak of two raptures, one showing people in the field being raptured (the first rapture of the Bride) and then the verse directly before this comment about not knowing the hour, shows the rapture of women grinding at the mill (the second rapture of the tribulation saints) . I tend to think that these two verses could be referring to two different raptures (pre-trib and pre-wrath) rather than one. The verse that follows (v. 42) the second reference to a rapture (which I believe refers to the pre-wrath rapture) would be an exhortation to those that would be in the tribulation and go in that second rapture.

There is another exhortation two verses down (v. 44) that also exhorts someone to "Be ready" because they won't "know the hour". The verse sandwiched in between (v. 43), I believe, identifies who is being exhorted to "Watch" and "be ready" and who won't know the hour. Verse 43 reads...

43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

The good man is the foolish virgin that finally "buys gold tried in the fire" of the tribulation. The thief is the False Prophet, who with the breaking of the fifth seal, is killing every believer (goodman) that he can find as he breaks into their houses to hunt them down. This verse is saying that if they would have watched, as Luke 21:36 says, they would have "Been the Bride" and have been taken in the first rapture... and they would not have had their house broken into by the forces of the false prophet. Notice it also says that if they would have watched, they would have known what "watch" the false prophet would come. In the parallel passage in Luke 12:38-40, it talks about 2 of the 3 watches that Jesus will come in. Verse 38 reads...And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

The first watch was when Jesus came the first time when He was born in Bethlehem. The second watch will be when he comes for the Bride before the tribulation. The third watch refers to the third time that Jesus comes for the tribulation saints at the end of the shortened tribulation. This verse is saying that blessed are the servants or believers that are "watching" before He comes in the second watch for His Bride (they will miss the tribulation and the Wrath) or before He comes in the third watch for the tribulation saints (they will miss the Wrath). Getting back to the scripture in Matthew, it is saying these foolish virgins did not know when the watch that the False Prophet would appear was to occur. He was to appear after the watch that Jesus was to get His Bride and before the watch that He was to get them, the goodmen, the tribulation saints.

In both the passage in Matthew 24:42-43 and the parallel passage in Luke 12:38:40, it is followed by a description of two groups, only one of which, the exhortation to Watch (because they won't know the hour) addressed to.

In fact in Luke 12:41 Peter wanted to know if Jesus was talking to him when he said that "He would come at an hour they thought not". Jesus knowing they wouldn't be alive could have simply said he wasn't talking to him, but evidently, he did not want Peter to expect that He wouldn't come to rapture him in his lifetime, so he answered by speaking in a parable about two groups . . . the faithful and the foolish. The wise virgins, the faithful, are spoken of in verse 42-44.
42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward (the wise virgins that become the Bride), whom his lord shall make ruler over his household (the earth), to give them their portion of meat (the marriage supper of the Lamb) in due season (they have to wait a season of 2300 days)? 43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

The category of foolish virgins (that the comment of not knowing the hour applies to) are identified in verse 45 and 46. 45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming (They are not watching); and shall begin to beat (in the greek means to offend the conscience of) the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder (separate him from the Bride), and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers (in the tribulation). I apologize for this long dissertation, just to show that the exhortation in Matthew 24:42 to watch, and that the hour will not be known, does not apply to us who are the Bride, but to the foolish virgins who are not watching. Your Brother in Jesus

My reply

> > Your discussion of the doctrine of imminency was excellent.

Thanks. I often think that Mt. 24:36 was the Lord's delay switch to keep people from hunting for the date before the Sign of the End of the Age appeared. It is cleverly worded--"no man" knows, but "my Father only." Christ was not a mere man, and since "in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9), he knew, but he didn't want it known at that time. In Acts 1:7,8, he made another cleverly worded statement. Just before he ascended, he said, "It is not for you (apostles) to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you." Christians have had the power ever since Pentecost in 30 AD, but all the clues were not there to figure it all out until after the fig tree grew leaves in the Six-Day War of 1967. It was designed that way from the beginning for the reasons you gave.

Dan. 8:19 says, " I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be." Dan. 11:35 is similar. It says, "some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed." If the end is at an appointed time, I think both Raptures are at an appointed time. The 2nd Rapture is also at the end.

Marilyn said:
> > > "Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come." Notice that it doesn't mention the day, month or year, just the unknown hour.

> > You intimated that because of the scripture you quoted (Mt. 24:42), that we can know the day and month, but not the hour. Yet earlier you quoted Revelation 3:3 to say that we will know the hour. For Mt. 24:42 to not contradict that scripture in Rev.3:3, it would seem that that exhortation would have to have been directed to the virgins that are not "watching" and are left to face the tribulation

Sorry. I didn't really mean that Mt. 24:42 meant that we could know the day, month or year and not the hour. I just wish people would read the text carefully. Many seem to think that v. 36 says we won't know the hour, day, month or year. Actually, it only mentions day and hour. What about the month and year? Verses 42 and 44 only mention the hour. Verse 50 mentions the day and hour, as in v. 36. We need to read carefully. The difference might be significant.

I think Mt. 24:37f means that the Pre-Trib Rapture will be as the days of Noah and the ones taken are caught up in the 1st Rapture. Lu. 17:22f gives us some more details. There are 2 days of the Son of man, i.e., 2 Raptures. V. 22 says, "ye shall desire to see ONE of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it." One of those days, the Pre-Trib Rapture, is as the days of Noah. The other, the Pre-Wrath Rapture, is as the days of Lot, when fire fell that same day (v. 29). Both men and women are mentioned in Lu. 17:34-36, where one is taken and the other is left at the 2nd Rapture. This time, the one left is not a believer. At the 1st Rapture, the unwise believer can be left as well as unbelievers. I don't really see the 2nd Rapture in Mt. 24, but I do in Lu. 17.

Mt. 24:45-47 talks about the "faithful and wise servant" (i.e., the wise virgins). Verses 48-51 talks about the "evil servant (i.e., the foolish virgins) that get cut off the 1st time. Verse 51 says, "shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Lu. 12:46 adds details. It says, "The lord of that servant (a believer) will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder (lit., cut him off), and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers" (i.e., in the Tribulation).

> > The good man is the foolish virgin that finally "buys gold tried in the fire" of the tribulation. The thief is the False Prophet, who with the breaking of the fifth seal, is killing every believer (goodman) that he can find as he breaks into their houses to hunt them down.

Are you sure? Verse 51 only takes us up to the point where the foolish virgins get cut off at the 1st Rapture. I thought the goodman of the house was the minister of a church. In this case, Christ would come and break up his house because he would take the wise virgins and leave the foolish ones behind. As a thief, he would take things of much worth and leave things of little worth behind. Both the verse before it and the verse after it mention Christ's coming. Verse 42 says, "your Lord doth come." Verse 44 says, "the Son of man cometh." Verse 44 also says, "be ye also ready." Take another look and see what you think. There are churches that are led by men that do not even teach the Rapture. After visiting a church here in Riverside, I e-mailed the pastor and asked what he taught about the Rapture. He said that he didn't teach the Rapture. They are planning a huge building program too. The Rapture will come as a shock to some people. I just hope they are ready in spite of not being taught about the Rapture.

Lu. 12 mentions "the goodman of the house" in v. 39 and "the wise steward, whom his lord shall make RULER over HIS HOUSEHOLD" in v. 42. Mt. 24:45 also mentions "the faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made RULER over HIS HOUSEHOLD."

> > 46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder (separate him from the Bride), and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers (in the tribulation). > > I apologize for this long dissertation, just to show that the exhortation in Matthew 24:42 to watch, and that the hour will not be known, does not apply to us who are the Bride, but to the foolish virgins who are not watching.

We agree in these. I think Rev. 3:3 is clear that if we watch, we can know. Besides, if we watch, we can see the day approaching and be ready in time even if we fail to discern the exact time.

BTW, I think Pentecost is the most likely time....Agape

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Could you briefly explain what you mean by "modern parallels"? Thanks

My reply

I unexpected stumbled upon the knowledge that God had singled out 7 blocks of years, totaled them up and saw to it that they were listed in Scripture to mark the years of important coming events of our time when added to 1517 (Jewish 5278). That was the landmark year that Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the church door in Wittenburg, Germany and started the Protestant Reformation. The correlation with historical events of the past shows us that there will be correlation with future events. You will be able to see why I first thought the Rapture would be in 1998. Each block is in the four hundreds; and there are no others.

(1) 400 from the casting out of Ishmael to the Exodus (Gen. 15:13; Acts 7:6,7)
(2) 430 from Abram's call to the Exodus (Ex. 12:40,41; Gal. 3:17,18)
(3) 434 (Dan. 9:25) "threescore and two weeks" (62 x 7 = 434)
(4) 450 from the division of Canaan to king Saul, the period of the judges (Acts 13:19,20)
(5) 480 Theocratic Years from the Exodus to the time construction began on the temple (excluding the servitudes when Israel was out of fellowship) (I Kings 6:1)
(6) 483 from the time the commandment was given to rebuild Jerusalem to the Crucifixion (Dan. 9:25,26)
(7) 490 Theocratic Years from the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem to the Second Advent (excluding the church era, when Israel is out of fellowship, in the gap between the 69th and 70th week of years) (Dan. 9:24).

Since Jewish civil years start on Tishri 1 in our September or October, they span parts of two of our years.

5278 (1517) plus 400 equals 5678 (1917/18)
5278 (1517) plus 430 equals 5708 (1947/48)
5278 (1517) plus 434 equals 5712 (1951/52)
5278 (1517) plus 450 equals 5728 (1967/68)
5278 (1517) plus 480 equals 5758 (1997/98)
5278 (1517) plus 483 equals 5761 (2000/01)
5278 (1517) plus 490 equals 5768 (2007/08)

We have a new series: 5678, 5708, 5712, 5728, 5758, 5761, and 5768. Do important things happen in these years? Yes! the list is impressive. It is exciting to find that God has arranged this for us to find in the time of the end.

5678 (1917/18), the modern exodus to Israel began
5708 (1947/48), Israel declared her Independence
5712 (1951/52), Jerusalem declared capitol of Israel
5728 (1967/68), the Six-Day War, Sign of the End of the Age, Israel grew leaves
5758 (1997/98), 6000th year of mortal man's test, beginning of 4 yrs in parable of the barren fig tree
5761 (2000/01), I believe the Tribulation will begin on the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost, probably the Rapture too
5768 (2007/08), I believe Christ will return the first day of the Jewish Regnal Year

No man could have planned this. Only God, who had his complete timetable in mind, could have known how to draw these parallels. Truly, every word of the original scriptures was God breathed. Men wrote it down under the inspiration of God. (More in my file "parallels.html") Agape

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Re: The Rapture, Gog, and Hanukkah Puzzle Putting It All Together, by Duncan Long
This article by Duncan Long was discovered 2-3 years ago and is interesting to review whenever the Hanukkah season approaches. I rediscovered it the other day. This is lengthy, but it may be worth your while. The author clearly states that he does not know what year these things will take place, but he believes we are close. Could it be this year? This year Hanukkah is December 22-29.

My reply

Here are some excerpts and the way I see it, which differs from the author's view. I doubt that the Rapture will happen on Hanukkah. I think it will be on one of the 7 feasts, when the trumpet is blown.

The word translated "general assembly" in Heb. 12:23 is "panegurei, a festal assembly (Thayer). It is translated as such in the NAB, Berkeley, RSV and Phillips versions.

> > The Rapture occurs when leaders of Israel as well as the "man on the street" will be operating under the assumption that "peace and safety" has come to the region. This is supported by 1 Thessalonians 5:3 "For when they shall say peace and safety then sudden destruction shall come upon them as birth pains upon a woman with child and they shall not escape."

Sudden destruction comes on the 1st day of the millennial Day of the Lord. That is the 2300th day of the Tribulation (Dan. 8:13,14), the Day of God's Wrath. Joel 1:15 says, "Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come."

> > another event preceding the Great Tribulation is the Battle of Gog and Magog. This event is outlined in Ezekial 38:18- 22

This battle doesn't precede the Great Tribulation. Concerning the Day of God's Wrath, Eze. 38:18-20 says, "And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel (on the 2300th day of the Tribulation), saith the Lord GOD, that MY FURY shall come up in my face. For in my jealousy and in the fire of MY WRATH have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel (the asteroid of Rev. 8:8 impacts the Mediterranean Sea); So that the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the earth, and all the men that are upon the face of the earth, shall shake (the worldwide earthquake of Rev. 16:18) at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground."

> > This time frame of a seven years' cleanup may reflect Daniel's Seventieth Week. If so, then this war signals the beginning of the 7-year Tribulation. If this is true, then the Rapture most likely occurs sometime before the battle of Gog and Magog (perhaps even causing Gog and Magog to launch their attack under the assumption that this is the best time for it).

The cleanup comes after the Day of God's Wrath. It runs between that Tishri 1 (Feast of Trumpets, Joel 2:1-3) and the following Nisan 1 (Second Advent, Eze. 29:17,21; Hos. 6:3) in a Jewish New Year. The Rapture in view is the Pre-Trib Rapture. The Day of God's Wrath is on the 2300th day of the Tribulation.

> > 7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
> > This passage links the "shaking" or great earthquake to the coming of the "desire of all nations", a phrase that must mean the return of the Lord as the Messiah or Prince of Peace.

The shaking is the worldwide earthquake on the Day of God's Wrath. The Second Advent follows it by 7 months.

> > Joel 2:1-32...The above passage links the blowing of the trumpet of God (and -- through our other links -- the rapture) with the beginning of the Day of the Lord (AKA the Great Tribulation). It also ties into Gog and Magog in verse 20 as the "northern army".

It is the Pre-Wrath Rapture, the 2nd Rapture. The Day of the Lord starts on the 2300th day of the Tribulation, the Day of God's Wrath, the beginning of the millennial Day of the Lord, which is Christ's 1000-year reign of peace. As in Solomon's reign, he cleanses his kingdom at the beginning. It starts with disaster to rid his kingdom of evil, but soon peace arrives.

> > (Rev. 6:)17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
> > When we realize that the great earthquake in this passage most likely occurs in a close time frame to the defeat of Gog and Magog by God's hand, then we see that this is the start of the Great Tribulation and, therefore, the Rapture must have preceded this event. The key elements that can be recognized in this passage are the great earthquake and the raining down of plagues upon the inhabitants of the earth.

This is not the start of the Great Tribulation. It is the 2300th day, the end of the shortened Great Tribulation, Mt. 24:22. The 6th seal has been broken in Rev. 6:12, and the Day of God's Wrath has come, when, after the Pre-Wrath Rapture, the 7th seal will be broken, as in Rev. 8

> > How far ahead of the invasion the Rapture occurs is unknown; but it would seem logical that it will come a very short time before the invasion, given the fact that such a momentous event as the sudden vanishing of a large chunk of the world's population will create the type of confusion that Gog and Magog might try to use to their advantage in attacking Israel. Or it may be that the two events will very nearly coincide so that the Rapture is missed during the noise and confusion of the fighting, earthquakes, and plagues.

Instead of the Pre-Trib Rapture fitting his scenario, it is the Pre-Wrath Rapture, that comes on the 2300th day of the Tribulation, that fits. Agape

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